24 April, 2011

The Faith Entry: Some Side Notes

I want to go off on a tangent here in regards to my recent entries on my personal faith. I want to touch upon the topic of legalism. To the more traditional and conservative faction of the church, they defend their staunch support to legalism as something integral to salvation. (This is all from the POV of Christianity) The more liberal churches tend to openly disagree with legalism because they often wonder where the concept of Grace comes in.

Call me a liberal then.

As I shared in Part 8, my take on the Biblical account of the Fall of Humanity was that the real temptation wasn't on the disobedience, but on the logic that "if I were to DO THIS, then I will BE THAT." In the beginning of Genesis, it states that humans were created in the image and likeness of God. The serpent convinces Eve that if she ate the fruit, (it's not necessarily an apple, btw) she will BEcome "like God." Therefore the fall of mankind was the logic of "DOING" to "BEING."

NOW, let's look at legalism: it's normally based on the avoidance (doing) of certain behaviors to display their state of beingness. (In this case, redeemed or "favored" by God) That undermines everything that this weekend is all about. (It is Easter as I'm typing this, so Happy Easter!) Here's an example: controversy has been around the topic of music as long as I've began reading a Bible. Those who advocate legalism tend to encourage their followers to avoid listening to certain musical formats. The logic is that if they were to avoid listening to certain types of music, they will BE more favorable in God's eyes. A couple of things with that example:(and this is NOT a hypothetical example, this is a REAL controversy) 1) There's no Biblical base on what "types" of music is acceptable or not acceptable. 2) This is the "do" to "be" logic.

Legalism doesn't lead to a sinless life, it ironically leads to a more sinful life because it creates an endless list of "do's and don't's." We don't avoid certain behaviors because of a rule, we choose not to do something out of love and appreciation. Love and appreciation is not a state of doing, but a state of being. What we do is a result of how we're being. Going back to the music example, if I'm at a state of beingness where I feel loved by God, and I feel in returning that love "with all my heart, mind soul, ect," I tend to CHOOSE to listen to more music that's consistent with that state of being. It's not because someone said this is what you "SHOULD" listen to.

If we were to follow the dogmas of legalism, then there's no point to what Easter represents. So what does Easter represents? What Jesus DID was a direct result of WHO Jesus IS. And because of what was DONE AND WHO HE IS, WE ARE.

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